With the support of the 2023 Queens Arts Fund (QAF) New Work Grant I have spent this year developing my new play Access Granted - an exploration of a Haitian American woman's quest to heal intergenerational trauma, and the impact of immigration.
"Writing this play was a life affirming, exploratory, and enlightening journey."
"Producing this October 18th workshop reading has been a joy filled, collaborative experience."
About the October 18th Workshop Reading
Access Granted is a mixed-media play with sound and movement. The work explores the impact of immigration on the spirit of Haitian people of the diaspora - from the historic Haitian Elite Exodus which took place during Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s terrifying rule (1957-1971) to the 1991 migration by boat. It also explores the impact of family separation which impacted thousands of Haitian families who left their offspring in Haiti with caretakers as they sought to create a stable home for them in the United States.
In preparation for this presentation, I have collaborated with director Aixa Kendrick, sound designer Oja Vincent as well as our talented cast to explore the soundscapes, movements and interactions that bring to life a nonlinear, intergenerational magical, healing play.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Haitian American Marie calls upon her Haitian ancestors to help her daughter Grace free her mind from the grip of negativity, the cancel culture, and the digital world to find her way to her predestined spiritual path. Both figuratively and literally trapped by the effects of spiritual toxicity and social alienation, Grace is taken on a multidimensional journey to find her spirit's song. Can a community of ancestors help Marie guide and save her daughter?
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Sagine Sémajuste is a multi-hyphenate first generation Haitian-Canadian actress, voice actress and dancer. She's been featured in numerous commercials and voiceover projects. her Film and Television credits include: Faith Heist, The Lake, Grand Army and Pretty Hard Cases. IG @SAGINESEMJUSTE YT @saginesemajuste8587
Candice Clarke (as "Grace")is an actor, singer, and writer from Brooklyn, NY. She is excited to be on stage and create art with other actors, directors, writers, and producers.
Candice Jean-Jacques graduated from Towson University then attended Circle in The Square Theatre School. She thanks Magaly for this compelling venture! and her acting teacher John Anthony, for his wizardry.
Farrah Cine is a Haitian American actor raised in Brooklyn, NY. Graduated from the Stella Adler Studio of Acting conservatory program she has played roles from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller. She has studied with Master Teachers Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Michele Shay, and Andrew Wade.@farrahcine
Blake Morris (he/him) is a NYC-based storyteller & mover. He is thrilled at the chance to lend voice & spirit to bring forth this beautiful new work. IG @mookies_theory
Tommie Thompson - actor,singer: Opera Ebony, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Wiz, Lola Falana Tour, Sable Series Paul Robeson-Take Wing & Soar, Widow and Miss Mamie : Audelco Award -Best Actor: -email@example.com
Aixa Kendrick: City College of New York Theater Program (1991-1996); Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab (2008-2009); Weaves multimedia bridges of cultures, ancestral spirit & soul story using stage, cinema, music/song & movement. www.AixaKendrick.com IG @AixaKendrick
Oja Vincent - As a sound painter and creator of sonic environments as well as being a first generation Haitian-American, it is an honor and pleasure to lend my services as a part of this production. In this work we honor the ancestors (past & living) through active solidarity.
Cassandra Gutterman-Johns (she/her) is a Stage Manager from Salem, Oregon. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and is excited to be a part of this new work.
JNK Enzo (they/ze) is an actor, director, and screenwriter working in performance, film, theatre, and digital technology/new media. They have an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts. www.jnkenzo.com IG @og.enzothis work we honor the ancestors (past & living) through active solidarity.
Horacia Rojas Venezuela born & raised Multi-disciplinary Visual artist whose work goes from Fashion to documentary photography to Filmmaking. Currently based in Queens, NY. Www.Horaciorojas.com
Jasmeene Francois is a Haitian-American theatre artist, storyteller, Applied Theatre Practitioner, and dramaturg from Riverside, California. She specializes in facilitating workshops centered around oral storytelling, devising, and creative writing that address home and belonging. Jasmeene is currently an instructor with The Moth Communit
Jasmeene Francois is a Haitian-American theatre artist, storyteller, Applied Theatre Practitioner, and dramaturg from Riverside, California. She specializes in facilitating workshops centered around oral storytelling, devising, and creative writing that address home and belonging. Jasmeene is currently an instructor with The Moth Community and Education program and an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College.
As a part of JCAL's Building Equity for BIIPOC Artists initiative, I curated CS New Works Reading Series. The play reading series will feature 3 new one-act works written by members of Conch Shell Productions’ Artist Collective - myself, Tanya Perez, and Gretchen Suárez-Peña. Our plays explore a number of themes that inspire social change (including self-empowerment, identity, sexism, trauma, and sexuality).
This event is also made possible with the support of Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning Building Equity for BIIPOC Artist - an initiative sponsored by New York Community Trust
ICEBREAKER is loosely based on personal pandemic stories shared by audience members who attended 2022 community screenings of Conch Shell Productions’ smartphone film AFTERSHOCKS: A TETRALOGY OF OUR TIMES.
Cast members include: Brittney Akpobiyeri, Amy Finkbeiner, Joshua Josey, Sarah Marable, and Natasha Mehra.
When three financially strapped strangers come together to take part in a paid focus group, their coronavirus pandemic-influenced anxieties turn the session into a battle ground as they struggle with the challenges of redefining social interaction and identity. Can they overcome their pandemic traumas in order to “go back to normal” and form new human connections?
Flushing Town Hall awarded me with an Individual Artist grant to screen Aftershocks: A Tetralogy of Our Times and create a space for audiences to share their pandemic stories in a healing community forum. These community stories were loosely referenced in ICEBREAKER.
This program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Statewide Community Regrants Program (formerly the Decentralization program) with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
Thanks to a generous Individual Artist Grant that I received from Flushing Town Hall, Aftershocks: A Tetralogy of Our Times will be screening and uplifting & healing community story sharing in Queens starting June 10th 2022 at www.JCAL.org and ending with a staged reading of the collected community stories at JCAL in October 2022. Stay tuned for announcements.
I had the pleasure of making "theatre history" when I directed virtually readings of 3 never before produced together plays written by Marita Bonner (works published between 1927-1928). Special thanks to New Perspective Theatre's artistic director, Melody Brooks for inviting me to direct.
Special thanks to Samuel Archer of Muzilog.com for inviting me to guest host this inspiring conversation with the film artists commemorating the work of Mr. Paul DeSilva.
Paul DeSilva's film, "Crackdown: Big City Blues" is now streaming on www.Fandor.com
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